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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Indian group may oppose Feb. 5th, 2008 Clover Valley referendum

Tribal Group is Seeking to Buy Some of Clover Valley from the Developer

By: Toby Lewis, The Placer Herald
October 31, 2007

The United Auburn Indian Community is considering weighing in on the campaign to defeat the referendum against the Clover Valley development, the group announced this week. "What I would want the public to know is the referendum is short sighted," said Tribe spokesperson Doug Elmets. "That referendum will do more harm than good." The referendum that challenges the development agreement between developer Clover Valley Partners and the city of Rocklin for the construction of 558 homes in Clover Valley will be placed on the Feb. 5 ballot next year. Although plans are not yet finalized, Elmets said the group is currently working with Clover Valley Partners to foster an agreement which would allow the Tribe to purchase the valley floor and convert it into open space with a cultural center.

"The Tribe is absolutely intent on saving the valley and the agreement has been achieved whereby the Tribe, the developer and the city of Rocklin will all be able to achieve some element of success," Elmets said. United Auburn Indian Community, a group that once made a sizeable donation to the Save Clover Valley Coalition back in 2004, is now considering working with the developer to help defeat the referendum drafted by the Coalition. "What we are talking about right now is the Tribe is negotiating with us to purchase 151 of the bottom lots," said Rick Massie of Clover Valley Partners. Those 151 lots equate to the whole of the valley floor, Massie said, which would essentially save the valley floor along with Native American sacred sites.

Proponents of the referendum say it should be left up to the voters of Rocklin to decide the fate of Clover Valley, one of the last remaining open spaces in Rocklin located between Park Drive and Sierra College Boulevard. Elaine O'Deegan, a spokesperson for the Save Clover Valley Coalition, said the proposal for Auburn Indians to purchase the valley floor is nothing new. "They indicated that they had intentions to buy the entire valley floor, but it has all been rumors for the last few years," O'Deegan said. "Until there's a deed of trust or memorandum of understanding between the Tribe and Massie, there's nothing there as far as we're concerned." O'Deegan said there are 249 lots on the valley floor, not 151, and the Native American sacred sites are dispersed throughout Clover Valley's entire 622-acres.

Opponents of the referendum say that if it passes, the current development plan of 558 homes, 366 acres of preserved open space and a two-lane connector road will become null and void, thereby leaving the door open for the original zoning of the valley. The original zoning allows for more than 950 homes with 60 acres of open space and a four-lane connector road, Massie said. Elmets said it would become "incredibly difficult" for the Tribe to purchase the valley floor should the referendum pass. O'Deegan said the claim that the referendum would do more harm than good is merely a scare tactic by Clover Valley Partners and that if Massie was going to build more than 900 homes if it passes, he should be trying to support the referendum. "The truth is you can't stop the project," Massie said. "If you're going to stop it and you do it via the referendum, get ready. The city attorney and the city council are most aware of the alternative and the alternative is not good for the city." The Rocklin City Council unanimously approved the 558-home development plan in August. Since then, the Save Clover Valley Coalition drafted the resolution and collected nearly 5,000 signatures to have the issue placed on the Feb. 5 ballot.

Argument against referendum does not add up to 900
Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Letter to the Editor: At the recent City Council meeting several council members stated that if the proposed referendum regarding Clover Valley passes, the previous plan would be in effect, giving the developer the right to build more than 900 houses on the property.
This may be true, and will no doubt be used as an argument for why people should vote against the referendum. However, I would like to point out that at the same meeting the developer spoke quite vehemently in opposition to the referendum. If the referendum passing means that he is entitled to build nearly twice as many houses, and therefore make more profit, why is he so strongly against it?
Douglas Frink, Rocklin

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